Cold Hands, Warm hearts

by Stephen Ministry Leader Diana Laskaris

It’s that frosty time of year in Chicagoland. It recently became even frostier with a dump of snow that got most of us off our comfortable spot on the sofa. The glistening white outside is beautiful. It also often needs to be blown or shoveled out of the way so we can move about in our daily lives. There isn’t a pause button on dealing with everyday matters outside our own homes.
Being born in Los Angeles, not known for snowy winters, I never had the chance to meet my neighbors through shared shoveling experiences. In fact, I barely got to know my neighbors at all. As a kid, I knew the ones with children my age that went to school with me. There were a few on my block, which consisted of a giant hill with no sidewalks. I can imagine that if there were snow there, our street may have come to a halt as far as work goes. But it would likely have made for a great sledding hill. And a fun place for the neighbors that I rarely saw as I was growing up.
On my Chicago street there are sidewalks. The road is flat. I know my neighbors. We see each other shoveling out the back alley or the sidewalks in front. That is, if I can ever beat them to the punch. Because my sweet neighbors are shovel champions! I often find the sidewalks and even the walkway to my door have already been cleared by the time I wake up. If someone hasn’t already been there in the wee hours of the morning, I may get the chance to return the favor. But, as nice as I would like to be, I’m not inclined to get up so much earlier to do that. Maybe that’s my bad because I feel like I should. 
Then again, I know they actually like to do it. They’ve told me so. One likes the burst of energy she gets from shoveling. Another is so used to taking care of the unnoticed piles that once he gets going he can’t stop himself from doing more. 
With Valentine’s Day coming up, I know how I can do something nice for my neighbors. I’ll bake some tasty treats to share from my warm kitchen with them. Because although my hands are not likely to be as cold as theirs this season, I’m sure we all have warm hearts to share this special time together.
So before you curse the next Snowmageddon, think of me. I’m waving to my neighbors, knowing their names, sharing some treats from the kitchen and maybe even a game night. Then think about those who live nearest to you. Wish them a Happy Valentine’s Day. And if you don’t already, get to know them. Shake their cold hand and share your warm heart. It will be a treat you both better than any sunshine will ever provide. Trust me. I know.